M 01 tlDli. fUMM 9 The time is early 1900. You reside near Bainbridge, Ga. In the last few years, has become a painful part of your life. Based on stories you've heard, you decide to Bonnie Holub Wakulla County make a trip to Panacea, Fla. It's a lengthy journey, but worth a try. With family in tow, you board the GF&A officially known as the Georgia Florida & Alabama railroad, although some folks humorously refer to it as the Gopher Frog & Alligator. The train makes a stop in Tallahassee before you disembark in Sop-choppy and climb into a mule-powered tramcar, which takes you to the bustling community of Panacea. The family checks into the well-appointed Mineral Springs Hotel, where 125 guests reside in relative luxury. The Mineral Springs Hotel is landscaped with rose bushes and offers a full-service dining room featuring linen-covered . tables. A smaller hotel, . the Bay View, offers a bowling alley and pool tables, but because of your arthritis those amenities aren't the ones you seek. The family changes into bathing attire and heads for the famous mineral springs of Panacea, within walking distance of the hotel. Your spouse and children choose the swimming area, but not you. You walk the grounds until you locate what you came for. The natural pool with a sign that reads "Arthritis Springs." - I f v ' ' i 4. V ; "" ' 1 . I II i.y r l r Jl . - A I Pull In to the Wakulla Welcome Center In Panacea and check out an were when the town was a tourist destination. r ; -r Up to 125 guests could stay at the Panacea wasn't named Panacea without good reason. In the late 1890s, the community was looking for a name in order to establish a post office. W.C.Tulley, a local resident, reasoned that, since the community was fortunate enough to have bubbling spring water that could cure all that ails ya', the word "panacea," meaning cure-all, was the perfect choice. During the early 1900s, people came from throughout the country and even a few i- . ii" ' - r-: - welcome s " t Center awcea i K V i. ... i 1,1 . -r--. Rorida Photographic Collection luxurious Mineral Springs Hotel. places in Europe to experience the healing powers of Panacea's mineral springs. Some of the spring-fed pools were labeled with the ailments they could ease, such as Arthritis Springs and Liver Springs. And that's why you came. To soak in the soothing waters of a community that is officially recognized as a "cure-all." Remnants of the springs remain in Panacea, but gone are Please see PANACEA, 3B ' F ' , , t r'- Democrat files exhibit that shows how things " . ; IF YOU GO What: Exhibit of historic Wakulla photographs When: Through March 10 Where: Wakulla Welcome Center, on the Big Bend Scenic Byway, U.S. Highway 98 overlook- , ing Dickerson Bay in Panacea Hours: Monday-Sat- . urday 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sunday 12:30-4:30 p.m. Phone: (850) 984-3966 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bonnie Holub writes about Wakulla County for the Democrat. She owns Bonnie Holub & Associates, a creative communications business in Wakulla County. Contact her at bholub earthlink.net.